Rethinking Your Interview Process
Whether you are completely new to interviewing or have prior experience doing so, this post is aimed at helping you ensure the knowledge and proper skills are present to conduct successful interviews with candidates. Providing the best possible interview experience for both you and the interviewee is key to ensuring you are able to obtain the information you need to make an informed hiring decision.
Preparation is key to ensuring you hold a successful interview. Start by reviewing the candidate’s resume before the interview, and compare it to the job description. This will help you identify any skills and qualifications that require further clarification.
Make sure you select an appropriate location that will allow for a comfortable and successful interview. Keep in mind seating arrangements, the environment and accessibility. Be sure to inform the candidate of any information needed about the role, your company, the actual interview and any additional items or information they will need to bring to the interview.
Taking the time to plan out a suitable structure for the interview will help ensure you are not improvising during the interview. Think about the amount of time you would like the interview to last, allowing extra time in case the interview goes over.
Compile two separate lists of interview questions, one general list of questions you will ask each candidate and another list that pertains to each individual candidate and their particular set of skills. The entire interview should flow naturally and progressively, therefore place strong emphasis on the order in which each question should be asked. Each interview should start in the same manner; introductions, informal pleasantries and then offering the candidate a refreshment. Doing this helps place the candidate at ease allowing you to get a true impression of who they are.
Describe to the interviewee what to expect during the interview and what you are hoping to accomplish once the interview comes to an end. Talk about the interviewee’s experience, why they are a fit for the role and be sure to ask open-ended questions that will allow for more detailed answers and to get a good sense of the candidates overall knowledge, attitude, personality and experience. Bring the interview to a close by giving the interviewee a chance to ask any questions they may have and give them some insight on when they can expect an update on the outcome of their interview.
In order to gain a full understanding of what the candidate is conveying during their interview, you must ensure you are aware of your own responses. Take into consideration how the candidate is answering your questions and the words they use. This will help gain a better understanding of what is being said and what the interviewee may not be saying.
Format your responses to the answers that have been given so that you are asking questions which probe deeper into their answers. Be engaged in what is being said; stay focused and don’t let your mind wander. Do not interrupt the candidate, unless necessary, and be sure to summarize their answers to confirm your understanding.
Pay Attention to Body Language
Having a good understanding of non-verbal communication is important for both parties participating in the interview. Being able to know what the candidate is conveying as well as being aware of what your body language is conveying to the candidate is important.
Are both parties’ eyes engaged, or are they glancing off somewhere else? Pay close attention to body position as well as facial expressions. Does the candidate take the time to consider the questions they are being asked prior to giving their answer? How does their voice sound? Is the tone relaxed and calm or do you feel as though they are nervous and are responding in various pitches?
Watch their hands and if they seem to be trembling, if so they might be nervous. If their arms are crossed, consider the temperature of the room and if the environment created for the interview is comfortable and welcoming to the candidate. Many consider crossed arms to be a defensive position, but in most cases candidates are just cold, so do your best to set up an ideal environment for the interview.
One of the most important aspects of understanding non-verbal communication is to be careful not to use it as an indicator of the type of person a candidate is going to be. Be sure to take some time during the interview to better understand a candidate.
How is Your Conduct?
While the candidate has applied for your job to work for your company, keep in mind that you too are being interviewed. Simply because a candidate has accepted an interview with you, does not mean they will automatically accept the job if it is offered to them. Job seekers are not only looking for a job, but a place they can be happy and develop a great career.
During the interview, be sure to give a great impression of the company and not to come across as rude. Give the interviewee ample time to answer the questions you are asking and provide them with the same courtesy you would expect to receive from them.
Interviews can be a stressful time for both job seekers and potential employers especially when positions need to be filled in a timely manner. By taking the time to prepare and plan, you will be able to get through interviews and gather great information that will help you make the right hiring decision.
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